It took a new lineup, but the Georgia baseball team (2-5) finally managed to notch its second win of the season on Tuesday, defeating Furman 6-4 at Foley Field.
Gerogia coach Scott Stricklin did some shuffling of both his defense and offense going into the game against the Paladins (3-5).
Hunter Cole and Skyler Weber started at third base and right field, respectively, for the first time in their careers as Jess Posey batted second for the first time this season.
‚ÄúJust looking at what we had down, we‚Äôd struggled a little bit,‚Äù Stricklin said. ‚ÄúI wanted to get as much offense in there as possible.‚Äù
Stricklin did just that, as the second inning saw the Bulldogs put together a string of at-bats that gave them a 4-0 lead. Zack Bowers, who went 2-for-4, led off with a single and eventually scored Georgia‚Äôs first run.
Furman‚Äôs Matthew Quarles issued two walks in the inning but his defense did not offer the best help. His catcher let a pitch get by him, allowing Georgia first baseman Daniel Nichols to score. Quarles pitched three innings and was charged with only two of the runs scored against him.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve had some tough breaks but we haven‚Äôt made our own breaks. And tonight we did,‚Äù Stricklin said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs how you‚Äôre going to win games, by causing some mistakes from your opponent. Really, we just kind of turned the table because that‚Äôs what‚Äôs been happening to us.‚Äù
Bulldogs starter Patrick Boling, who ended the night with three earned runs in four innings, almost gave up his lead in the fourth. He allowed a couple of singles and doubles and three earned runs before striking out the last batter of the inning.
Freshman Robert Tyler relieved Boling for the remainder of the game. After a perfect fifth, he was hit with a line drive in the middle of the back that Stricklin said seemed to be ‚Äúabsorbed‚Äù by his body. He shook off the hit and lit up the radar gun with a few pitches, but not before Stricklin made fun of him for throwing around 90 miles an hour.
‚ÄúRight when I got hit, Coach (Stricklin) was just messing with me,‚Äù Tyler said. ‚ÄúIn that situation, it really calmed me down and got my composure back.‚Äù
Despite giving up two consecutive singles, a walk and an unearned run, Tyler managed to keep himself under control enough to get his first win of the season.
‚ÄúIt was one of my better outings for sure,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúIn a situation like this, I think I proved myself to be good tonight.‚Äù
The Bulldogs will continue their 16-game home stand against Georgia State at 5 p.m. today.
The Grady Sports Bureau is part of the sports media program at the University of Georgia‚Äôs Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.